Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Definitions of Social Media and New Media

In our Social Media for PR class, we are reading Engage! by Brian Solis. While reading the chapters on the definitions of new media and social media, I found the attempts to define both terms to be interesting.  My personal learning project (more details to come) revolves around different types of social/new media that are being used in higher education.  When I first started looking into this topic, I was really narrow minded and looking for all the wrong things and thought that our school didn't use much social media other than for marketing purposes.  

After reading into the book more, the picture of what is included in social/new media in a university setting began to come together.  In classes when we use blackboard or wikis, it's new media.  When my organization uses Evite! to invite people to an event, it's new media.  And when we also internally use blogs to keep in touch and show we're learning over the summer, it's new media.  Social/new media is most commonly known, however, as: facebook, twitter, tumblr, and foursquare.  

I know it's much more than that.  There's blogs, social bookmarking, picture sharing, and video sharing.  However, I never thought much of these tools being useful in a different way.  The examples of Southwest Airlines, Jet Blue, Red Cross, Oracle, and IBM in chapters 3-6 of Engage! were helpful in illustrating that.  I am finding that the cases and examples are showing how only what's worked, but also some road blocks and how to overcome them.  It's given me a new starting point to look at when going forward with my project, as well as with finding out what skills might help me in the future.

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